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The Jardín Botánico Nacional located 25 km southwest of the capital of Cuba, belongs to the University of Havana, it is a recreation, teaching and science center. Among its lines of research, the studies of the flora of Cuba and the conservation of plant biodiversity stand out, consequently it is the headquarters of the Group of Cuban Plant Specialists (GEPC) founded in 2003, attached to the species survival commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This group, made up of specialists from various institutions in the country, meets to evaluate proposals and assign the categories and criteria of the species. Two red lists have been published from the work of this group: 2005 (1,414 taxa evaluated) and 2016 (4,626 taxa evaluated, 72.86% of the flora). Between both red lists, five rapid categorizations were made (2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014). Special attention has been devoted to endemisms, with 79% of these taxa being evaluated. Cuba is the Caribbean country with the largest number of threatened species: 46.31% of the assessed flora. The main threats to the native flora have been determined, such as: human activities, for example the introduction of invasive exotic species, deforestation, habitat fragmentation, livestock, forestation and agriculture. The JBN also hosts “Planta! Initiative for the conservation of the Cuban flora”, organized since 2012 that carries out an active collaboration with university students, in camps, research in nature and environmental education in local communities. The informative work is carried out through the ¨Bissea Bulletin¨: "The Bulletin on Plant Conservation of the National Botanical Garden of Cuba” with four annual issues, television and radio programs and exhibitions. It works in close coordination with the National System of Protected Areas, which houses 73.68% of threatened species. The most urgent conservation needs are monitoring, environmental education and habitat management. Examples of works in this sense have been the studies of species of palms, cacti and magnolias, charismatic groups due to their endemism and beauty. The rescue of species declared extinct or critically endangered has allowed their ex situ cultivation, propitiated by the exchange with provincial gardens through the National Network of Botanical Gardens in Cuba.

Keywords:

Botanical Garden, Conservation, Red List, Threaten Species, Conservation Assessment

Rosalina Berazaín

Presentation within symposium:

S-46 Noah´s Arcs of the Anthropocene: the role of Botanic Gardens in Caribbean plant conservation

The Jardín Botánico Nacional, La Habana, Cuba and its role in conservation of Cuban botanical heritage

-Review-